Niagara police launch anti-hate crime campaign


Published June 20, 2022 at 11:25 am

Niagara Regional Police launched their #StopNiagaraHate campaign to day to combat the ever-growing threat of hate crimes and hate incidences, which have doubled across the Region since last year.

In meeting of the Niagara Police Board in April investigators noted 21 hate incidents/crimes and over the last year, well above the 10 reported the year before.

Hate crime peaked in June 2021 for last year’s Pride Month. That month saw six homophobic incidents, ranging from vandalism and stolen Pride flags, and three racists incidents including threats.

Numerous other incidents occurred including assaults, scrawled swastikas and racial slurs, and uttered threats.  However, only one of the 21 investigations rose to the level of hate crime, the threatening of a Black community group.

As a result of this steep uptick in hate incidents, NRPS has been working with community partners and the Chief of Police Community Inclusion Council to address hate related incidents in Niagara.

This year June has again been marked by hate, as Harriet Tubman Public School in St. Catharines endures a racist and homophobic vandalism campaign.

In order to encourage victims to report these crimes, NRPS launched their hashtag campaign. They are also working to increase awareness of the distinction between hate crimes and hate incidents.

In short, if someone commits a crime motivated by hate it’s a hate crime. However, if the action doesn’t rise to the level of criminal charges, that’s a hate incident.

“The Niagara Regional Police Service takes incidents of hate and violence very seriously and will investigate them through our detective offices as well as our Equity Diversity and Inclusion Unit” said Chief Bryan MacCulloch.

“We encourage anyone who experiences an incident of hatred to report it to police so that it can be properly investigated and addressed.” he continued, “Hate has no home in Niagara.”

Saying they are “dedicated” to ending hate crime and incidents in the Region, NRPS said, “It is critically important to treat all victims and complainants of Hate-Motivated Offences and Incidents with respect and empathy to strengthen relationships and awareness between religions, cultures, and communities – ensuring equality, inclusion, acceptance, and mutual respect.”

Victims of hate crime and incidents can call:

  • St. Catharines, Thorold, Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake – (905) 688-4111
  • Fort Erie – (905) 871-2300
  • Grimsby, Lincoln, and West Lincoln – (905) 945-2211
  • Welland, Wainfleet, Pelham, and Port Colborne – (905) 735-7811.

NRPS is handing out flyers to this respect translated into French, Spanish, Mandarin, Arabic, Farsi, Ukrainian, Hindi and Urdu. They will be distributed to community and faith-based groups across the Region.

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